Before we go any farther, understand this: SEO is an investment that takes time.
It’s not hard to find cheap SEO services. They’re everywhere. Just go searching on Fiverr for a few minutes and you’ll find plenty of people offering SEO at next to nothing. This short article is here to help you recognize some of the tactics found in cheap SEO, and the best approach to take when investing in SEO.
Tactic #1: Cheap Backlinks
As mentioned earlier, Fiverr is a great place to find cheap services. There are countless other places to look as well. Offering thousands of backlinks at an extremely low cost is common. The issue is, that even though there are so many backlinks offered, the thing to check is the page rank guaranteed. Often, these services can’t promise very high rankings, leveling out at high as fifth or sixth on the rankings. Getting to the top three, where most clicks go, takes a lot more work and a more advanced approach to SEO.
Tactic #2: Private Blog Networks.
You may not know much about private blog networks (PBN’s), but they’re still used a lot. Basically, a private blog network is a sort of “dummy” site made using an expired high-authority domain. Google values backlinks from high-authority websites over low-authority websites in its search algorithm. Once that dummy site is set up and established, adding the backlinks to your site will boost your rankings. The problem with PBN’s, though, is that Google is getting better and better at recognizing this tactic, and while it may work well for a short while, it will have a negative effect on traffic. It will diminish over time until that link has no effect. You can learn more about PBN’s here.
Tactic #3: SEO Services from Developing Countries
Now, bunching all developing countries into a category and saying that all the work they do is bad is not the intention here. There is some really good SEO and digital marketing coming from these countries by respectable sources. The issue is that, far too often, individuals from these countries (India and the Philippines being common ones) send countless emails offering SEO services, but don’t provide a business name (or even a last name sometimes) and can’t be checked for reputability. Often, too, they resort to spam techniques to gain links and boost rankings. Again, I’m not saying to avoid these companies altogether, but do your research. Avoid unsolicited emails, companies that offer “to-good-to-be-true” results, and companies or individuals that can’t be checked for reliability.
Tactic # 4: Black-Hat Techniques
Beware SEO providers that promise “unbelievable” results or extremely fast rank increases with very little investment required. Often, these providers are using black-hat techniques to temporarily boost your rankings. Black-hat techniques are aggressive tactics used to “trick the system” into boosting your rankings. (Several of the tactics listed above are considered black-hat. For a more detailed look, go here.) If someone promises high rankings in a matter of days or weeks, or offers an unusually cheap rate, they may be using black-hat techniques. You may see an initial uptick in traffic, but it is a sure-fire way to get penalized from Google, or possibly banned.
The overall rule here is to do your research when choosing an SEO provider. Ask questions. Get answers. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. SEO is a long-term strategy. Any quick gains made from spammy tactics will disappear quickly and eventually have no, or a negative effect. Lastly, keep in mind that fixing bad SEO is far more expensive than doing it right the first time.
Brian Sherman is an author, entrepreneur, husband and father. He is the Lead Writer and Content Manager for Voixly, a Texas-based Digital Marketing Firm. He authored the book, For Real This Time, and writes for several publications online on the topics of personal development, marketing, and entrepreneurship.